Saturday 7 November 2015

The Addams Family (SNES review)

Developer: Ocean Software
Publisher: Ocean Software
Released: 1992

The Addams Family is a platformer that's based on the 1991 movie of the same name.

Playing as Gomez your mission is to free your family members who have been kidnapped in the mansion. The B button jumps while Y uses weapons including a sword and a golf ball. The game is sandbox in nature meaning you can tackle the levels in any order and hunt around the mansion for hidden rooms that house money and extra lives. Although most levels aren't overly interesting the Portrait Gallery looks great with huge pictures of The Addams Family hanging in the background. Other highlights include levels where you ride a train or a gondola and have to jump over obstacles to survive. There's lots of minor puzzle elements too including areas where you need to bounce on bowling balls to hit switches and remove barricades. Rarely did I find myself having fun though and that's mainly due to the slippery controls. Gomez moves extremely quickly and even a light tap on the d-pad sends him skidding off ledges. The collision detection is also spotty and button presses are sometimes ignored. Enemies are annoying and always seem to be waiting just off screen, ready to fire projectiles as soon as you jump over a gap. There's also an Ice level (where the controls become even more cumbersome) and a terrible Fire level where you're not allowed to hit a single enemy as they're surrounded by flames! The final level sees you jumping between ropes to avoid spikes but the dodgy controls and collision detection mean cheap hits are unavoidable. The bosses are bland with predictable patterns and dull design such as a giant snowman and a fire breathing dragon.

The Addams Family is a bad Euro-style platformer with awful controls and uninspired level design. My recommendation would be to stick to Rick Dangerous (1989, Amstrad CPC) instead as it's a much better example of how trial and error gameplay can still be enjoyable.

Random trivia: The game was released on a number of other systems including the Amiga, Game Boy and NES.

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